TOP 10 AFC QB 2020
Updated: Sep 2, 2020
It's crazy to think that by the end of July, NFL teams will be at training camp preparing for the 2020 season. I was watching Colin Cowherd discuss the top ten quarterbacks in the AFC with the addition of Cam Newton and figured I'd take a shot at it. With the NFL, NBA, MLB, and MLS geared to start up at different times this month, we might as well make another list! I'll try to keep my bias out of this and let me know if you agree or disagree with anyone on this list. Let's get to it.
Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs)- This is a no-brainer. Has anyone had a start to a career like this? In the last two years, Mahomes is 23-7 with 76 touchdown passes. He has a cannon of an arm, can move in the pocket and is deadly accurate. He has the weapons and coaching to dominate the AFC for the next decade. If he stays healthy, he has a chance to go down as the best quarterback of all time. Let's hope the Chiefs do not waste anytime on his career like Green Bay has done with Aaron Rodgers.
Deshaun Watson (Houston Texans)- This guy does more with less that arguably anyone not named Russell Wilson. Sure, he had Deandre Hopkins, but that's about it. For most of his career he's been running for his life with below average O-line play and never knows who's going to suit up at receiver besides Hopkins. Locking up a contract with him seems inevitable and I'm curious who's gets done first: his or Mahomes. The deal will be well over $35 million/year.
Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens)- I hope no one looks at this as a slight to Lamar. I think he's incredible. The only thing that separates him from Deshaun in my eyes is more consistent throwing from the pocket. I know that Lamar improved immensely from year 1 to year 2, but I still believe that you are more afraid of Lamar's scrambling ability than you are his throwing from the pocket. I'm equally concerned with Watson's legs and arms. I expect another leap coming into year 3 with Baltimore winning their division and fighting for a number 1 overall seed with Kansas City. No reason why he shouldn't be in the top 2 conversation next year.
Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers)- With Brady now out of the New England, Big Ben is the most accomplished quarterback in the conference. Now, Ben is coming off a pretty major injury, but all signs have pointed to a healthy bounce back season. He now finds himself as the older statesmen in a very young quarterback crop in the AFC North. No way Ben falls out of my top 4 quarterbacks in the conference until I see his talent fall off a cliff and I haven't yet.
Cameron Newton (New England Patriots)- LOL at all the experts who thought the Pats were going into the season with an unproven Jarrett Stidham. He could still be the quarterback of the future, but no way in hell they bring is Cam if they were confident in Stidham's abilities come week 1 of the season. I don't think this will be a competition and when healthy, Cam is a top 12 quarterback in the league. Will he be able to stay healthy? I really hope so. Healthy Cam is fun to watch.
Sam Darnold (New York Jets)- You may think my bias is showing, but I think Sam Darnold is due for a breakout year. He had the worst O-line in the NFL last year and his #1 receiver was Robby Anderson who I love, but never has had a 1,000 yard receiving season. Darnold has missed 6 games over the past two years so playing a full season will be huge for him. With the remaining quarterbacks left, I believe Darnold sets himself apart with his knack of extending plays that look dead from the start. Remember, the Jets went 6-2 down the stretch and were 7-6 when Darnold was healthy. With AVERAGE O-line play, Darnold should put up pro bowl numbers.
Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns)- It's hard for me to believe that Baker Mayfield will be the quarterback we saw last season. Cleveland has done everything to make it as easy as possible to succeed. They threw money bags at Austin Hooper and Jack Conklin while drafting Jedrick Wills Jr in the draft. Baker was a victim to poor O-line play last year, and he isn't athletic enough to make up for it. With improvement at both tackle positions, Bake should be able to use play action to find open targets down field. A healthy OBJ will help, too.
Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills)- This is the running back QB of the 2018 draft, not Lamar Jackson. I do not trust him throwing from the pocket, but damn he's got legs. He reminds me of a poor mans Cam Newton. Obviously, he has a missile attached to his arm, but he has no accuracy with that missile. Some look at the Stefon Diggs trade as a way for Allen to solve his deep throw accuracy. If Diggs was frustrated with Kirk Cousins, how many games does it take until he's frustrated with Allen?
Drew Lock (Denver Broncos)- Small sample size last year, but you have to like what you've seen. Elway made it his business to get talented skill players around him because I think he knows in his division you have to keep up with Kansas City. You damn sure ain't slowing them down. He's young with a ton of talent, and he should have the Broncos sniffing around the playoffs come December.
Phillip Rivers (Indianapolis Colts)- I'm betting on the protection Rivers will have this year above all. Common theme in this list. Colts GM Chris Ballard bet on him so why shouldn't I? Colts are in a good position here. If the Rivers signing works, they'll probably keep him around for another year. If it doesn't they will look to make a move in the 2021 draft to find their future quarterback. Much is in place there. Just need to figure out the quarterback situation.
Who didn't make the list who should have? I'll stand firm on this list and will take a look back at it at the end of the season. NFC top 10 quarterbacks soon come.